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Welsh film composer takes inspiration from Sydney’s gay Mardi Gras festival

World’s largest gay short film festival welcomes new composer
Bernard Kane has composed a new piece for this years Iris Film Festival's official montage.

A new piece of music commissioned especially for a Welsh film festival takes influence from Sydney's Mardi Gras.

Cardiff's Iris International Gay and Lesbian Film Prize Festival features one of the world’s largest short film awards categories.

Valued at £25,000 ($39,221 €31,267), the Iris Prize offers the winning filmmaker the chance to make a new short film by offering them funding, support and guidance.

A new piece of music, called Iris, is composed by Welsh composer and violinist Bernard Kane and will form the backdrop to the film festival’s 2012 official montage.

The montage is shown at the start of all the screenings throughout the four-day festival and is aimed to help raise the profile of gay cinema.

When seeking inspiration for his new piece, Kane took a trip to see friends in Australia, purposely timing his visit to coincide with the Sydney's annual lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride festival, the Mardi Gras.

‘The atmosphere which surrounds Mardi Gras is just electric,’ Kane commented.

‘The whole warmth and joy I experienced there was simply something else.

‘Whilst walking from Bondi Beach to Coogee, when the music for the montage struck me. The walk along this part of the New South Wales coastline is breath-taking where the cliffs sweep majestically into the Pacific Ocean.’

A 15-piece string orchestra will help bring Kane's music to life.

Kane said: ‘I have written several works for various ensembles in the past few years and since many people have described my music as being “cinematic”, a description which I am very fond of, I was delighted to have been asked to write the music to the montage of the films to be shown at this year's Iris Prize Festival.’

Attracting filmmakers from all over the world, the Iris Prize is open to any short film, which is by, for, about or of interest to LGBT audiences.

Bernard’s music already has a famous fan in the form of Welsh rock band the Manic Street Preachers' lead vocalist, James Dean Bradfield.

He said: ‘Bernard Kane's music conjures up the images he portrays in a timeless manner; it's as though the music has always been there. Beautiful!’

The 2012 Iris Prize Festival will take place in Cardiff, Wales from 10 – 14 October.

For further details and a full programe of this years films, please visit their official website.

Watch the Iris’ Prize Festival official montage from 2011 below:

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